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What did you learn at Office Hours that you will take with you into 2023?

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What are you celebrating this year?

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What a year! Thank you all for spending it with us. Office Hours is one of my favorite parts of the week. Here you all have helped inspire what's possible on Substack. I can't wait to get back to it in 2023.

Until then, we wish you a happy holidays! I hope you celebrate, get some rest, and spend some extra time reading. https://read.substack.com/

See you soon,

Katie, Bailey, Josh, Thomas, and Ngoc-Quyen

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*puts aside aloof, dispassionate Englishness for a second*

YOU'RE ALL WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND YOU'VE TOTALLY GOT THIS IN 2023. GO DO ALL THE THINGS. ALL OF THEM.

*puts Englishness back on, flares nostrils contemptuously, twirls cane, marches out*

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Okay, full disclosure: this is going to be a real sappy and personal one, today.

Nearly a year ago I started attending Office Hours and felt SO overwhelmed. Everyone seemed so put-together, so good at what they do. I wasn't sure how to fit in! But I also sensed that there were lots of writers here--with newsletters big and small--who were ALSO feeling overwhelmed and unsure about how to keep going. So I started writing little bits of encouragement from "one small newsletter to all of you". And you know what? I learned something...

When writers gather in one place with the goal of lifting each other up, simple magical things happen. It's so tempting to think that other writers are our competition, but this weekly forum proves otherwise. There is a place at the table for ALL of us, no matter the size of our platforms. It has been my privilege to sit at this table beside you all this year!

Substack is an amazing place, yes. But it's only that way because it is FULL of amazing people: staff, writers, and readers alike. Thank you for being here. Thank you for showing up for yourself and others. And remember: keep going, keep writing, and DON'T GIVE UP! 🌿

Happy Holidays to all, and see you in 2023!

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What did I learn? That Substack is kind of a miracle. When we started writing, we hoped we might make some money this year. And I'm not going to claim we've gotten rich. But the revenue has been a steady rise upward and looks to continue.

Trust me, as a writer of some thirty years, this really is a kind of miracle. I've made money from other kinds of writing. But usually not stuff I love writing.

Here on Substack, I'm writing what I love AND making money. And that's something my husband and I are thrilled to have learned. I've also learned Substack has attracted an amazing array of wonderful writers.

So thanks Substack and Happy Holidays to everyone!

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I just saw this neat post idea from @Petition and thought I'd share it here with the group:

"We asked a bunch of publishers who use Substack inc to recap their thoughts on finance/markets in '22, make predictions about '23 and reflect on independent publishing. Here are some of our favorite answers, a 🧵:"

https://twitter.com/petition/status/1605982634911334401

You can read all the insights Petition assembled from other Substackers in a post - https://petition.substack.com/p/substackers

Thought this was just so delightful.

If you've done something similar - an all Substack writer round up on a theme - please share with me here 👇

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What'd I learn? I learned that writers are a great resource for one another. Specific to Substack, I learned that not every online community is transactional in nature. A lot of people here just want to help others with no expectation of anything in return. That's contagious. And it's been refreshing change.

It's also been easy to see how proactive the Substack team is as far as implementing changes/iterating. I'm not just saying that to be nice, either. I write on a few platforms. None are anywhere close to this involved.

As we close 2022, I'm celebrating another year of writing and the fact that my project actually has wings. And I'm celebrating the people who let me have a little space in their inbox during the week.

I hope everyone on the other side of the screen is having as much fun as I am.

P.S. S.E. Reid's posts are like getting 52 Christmas gifts a year.

P.P.S. Holly Rabalais should be on the "who'd we miss?" list.

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Thank you for the mention! These office hours have been one of the best things that has come out of Substack. I'm not sure if you do already, but if not, I would recommend mentioning this forum to all new Substack accounts. While not everyone is a writer, the idea that a community exists like this is absolutely invaluable. My most significant connections all came from Substackers posting here, asking questions here, wanting more information... It has been a real blessing.

For those that don't get questions answered, please know that office hours is so crazy popular now it's hard to get eyes on everything. Try again, reach out, find a group of writers or readers that you think can help, and talk to us... Substack absolutely wants you to grow, and they do everything they can with the limited resources they have to see you're successful.

In the fiction community, we also want to see you grow as a writer! Do you need assistance, encouragement, or want to become involved? Please, reach out to us over at Fictionistas. We're a very welcoming community that is 1100 strong and we love having fiction writers on the platform. All the best to you this year, and in 2023... here is an article I wrote recently on Fictionistas about embracing the writing process:

https://fictionistas.substack.com/p/embrace-the-writing-process

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I'm celebrating that I started writing!

Thank you so much, Substack - and thank you everyone ON Substack! I've made so many connections, and I deeply appreciate the support.

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Would love a way to 'discover' authors with 500-2000 subscribers. That's the rung up from me, and I'd love to cross-post, guest write, etc. Big name authors here already have a network of peers to do this with...it's not really penetrable any more than writing freelance for the Atlantic.

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I moved to Substack this fall, and Office Hours has been SO GREAT as a place for me to ask technical questions. The biggest help was when people patiently explained to me the difference between sections and adding additional newsletters within one newsletter, with how-to advice plus examples. I have also learned a ton just from lurking (there was a tip last week about customizing the "your subscription is ending" email that was great -- thank you!).

Everyone is so nice and helpful, and I love clicking over to read all of your nice and helpful people newsletters, so that's lovely too. Thanks, Office Hours!

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Also sappy... I learned to think of myself as a writer again, after the slog of academic publishing, motherhood, pandemic, living through the Trump years ground me down. After Roe fell, I started my newsletter as a way to translate Women's and Gender Studies to a wider audience. Y'all are awesome... thank you! https://emilytaylor.substack.com/

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I think the most beneficial part of office hours by far has just been connecting with other writers on the platform & receiving their advice and encouragement, especially for a new writer like me. And as the year closes, I'm celebrating that I recently achieved my goal of 100 subscribers before the end of the year. Onwards!!

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I've been writing on here for only two months, but I honestly feel like a different person. This beautiful format is turning me into a writer, one post at a time. I adore the ability to curate however/whatever I like. And going paid a month ago was thrilling. Never in all my imaginings did I expect to be running my very own podcast. I am a giant Substack fan and I read everything that comes my way.

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In one month on Substack, I’ve learned many of today’s best writers and thinkers are here. The bar is set high, and I have short legs.

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I had to miss many office hours this semester because it conflicted with my college teaching schedule. But I want to thank everyone who exchanged useful ideas, replies, "likes." I've particularly enjoyed expanding my view of both my specialty (pop music, memoir) and writers who operate at the edges of my peripheral vision. Happy holidays, and don't be shy about subscribing!

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I’m never early to anything (just ask my husband- sitting in the car, looking like a Cathy cartoon anytime we go anywhere with a set arrival time) and I know Substack is a big place, but I love bumping into the same writers every week in Office Hours, because it makes this writing world feel a little smaller and a lot more connected. I have to imagine this is what it was like to be writing in the early blogging and social media days. I am always searching for (and writing about) finding your place in the world. Being here makes me feel like I’ve found mine. So- thank you!

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Merry Christmas to the Substack community! So happy to have published 90 editions and met so many amazing people here. Also, please bring back Substack Go!

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I don't make it to Office Hours very often, but when I do, I find it a welcoming place with a sense of community, and I usually come away with some tidbit of helpful advice. Happy Holidays to all.

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Love the post. Hi everyone, my name is Ash and I’m a Doctor and writer! I’ve started a new substack called Y cubed, where I talk about the intersection between Health tech companies and AI. Would love to get some feedback!

https://ycubed.substack.com/about

Just like to shoutout Mike Sowden from Everything is Amazing, Dharkesh Patel from

the Lunar society, Erik Hoel from TIP and Riz Khan from unsupervised learning....

You guys are incredible writers and bloggers. As my early Xmas gift, I was able purchase your paid subscriptions!

Anyway, happy Xmas and look forward to connecting with you all in the new year!

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I’ve ‘met’ so many wonderful people here who have become true friends and champions. Thank you, Substack, for bringing us together! Wishing everyone surprise and delight in the New Year. ✨

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Happy Holidays all! I have 2 substacks scheduled and I have deleted all social media - delighted!!

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I learned three things:

- To attend office hours more frequently

- To be more generous in my time reading and supporting other writers

- To ask for what you want or need; people will support you

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I learned not to be so hard on myself and give myself space and time to grow. It's immensely reassuring too realize that many are experiencing the same challenges and difficulties, and being able to get advice from those who've found success on Substack is something to be thankful for. Happy holidays to all!

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I appreciate the chance to read everyone's feedback and suggestions, and to give my own! Never underestimate the goodwill and creativity of the grumbly dissidents! 😀

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I'm celebrating two years in Santa Fe, a new writing career, and many steps closer to a whole healthy me. I'm also celebrating my big win - my book just made #12 in Independent Book Review's Top 30 Most Impressive Indie Books of 2022. (Info about it in my substack if yr interested - always something in the monthly zines....) And thanks for the shoutout!

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I appreciate the tag and for the conversations and friendships I made with other creators. I am thankful for the platform to give me a voice and a chance to recommend music and share cultural insights with all my readers. I will celebrate a year of hard lessons and friends standing by me through the thick of it.

With a heavy heart, I wish to inform everyone that I will be moving What's Curation? to another platform in January 2023. If you subscribe now, I will migrate you over. As this is a thread for celebration and cheer, I won't self-promote the new domain name. But I will hope to see you there next year!

Thank you Substack team for giving me the start I needed.

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I learned that my newsletter is more of a creative outlet for me than a moneymaker. Which is fine. Money isn’t always an indicator of worth. Writing what I want to write and enjoy is priceless to me. Even if it “only” gets a small audience. Creativity is its own reward if you view it that way. And a small, appreciative audience is a good thing also.

And now I don’t have to bother with promotion or any of the “non-writing” things writers do that I don’t enjoy. I can just enjoy writing and publishing my newsletter and allow people to support it if they want to. And 10 have become paid subscribers without me using a paywall or offering extras.

Interestingly, my subscriber numbers started growing faster once I stop outside promotion. The Substack network is working for me. It really took off in the spring and has been steadily growing ever since. I should hit 1000 subscribers soon.

And I love the community feel on Substack. The comments on my newsletters. And the Chats with other writers. And Office Hours, of course.

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Being relatively new, I've been experimenting with format, length, frequency, etc. Recognizing the email overload everyone seems to be experiencing, I've cut back to two posts per week rather than the 4 I started out with. I love Substack and the community developing here ... but do have a concern about what happens as the number of newsletters grows exponentially. I've found so many fascinating writers here that I'm finding myself cutting back just because I can't read everything that calls to me and get anything else done. Do you think AI could do my reading for me? (Heaven forbid!)

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I just want to say hello and thank you for all of your support, Substack!  I moved my 22K newsletter subscribers to Substack on 12/14 and only regret not coming here sooner! I look forward to  engaging more with this community. Happy new year to all! Lucy McBride

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Thank you to the Substack team for such an enriching and engaging year. It’s hard to believe that it was just the beginning of 2022 when I got to participate in the Go program, and where I met an amazing cohort of writers and learned so much about the platform and its potential.

And while the last part of this year has been incredibly busy for me (starting a new job), I’m really happy that my cohort has kept in touch - with group calls every other week, individual support on our posts, and more.

It’s the network that makes this experience so incredible, and the strength of that network is a testament to Katie, Bailey, and the whole community team at Substack. I’m so grateful for their support this year. Without it I’m not sure I would’ve stuck it out. But I did - and wrote and released 12 new original songs right here on this platform.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season, and I can’t wait to see what 2023 brings for all of us here.

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Appreciate you guys, Happy Holidays!!!

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Happy holidays, SS community!

I’m fairly new here (only just joined in October), but I’m so glad I made the switch from Mailchimp. I’m connecting with my subscribers in a way standard mailing lists don’t allow, and the general community here is so upbeat and helpful.

Very thankful for this great platform (and all the new features rolling out daily). Here’s to a great 2023! 🥳

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Hello everyone! I only joined Office Hours regularly in October this year and have absolutely loved meeting so many of you here. Thank you to all the people mentioned above and, of course, thank you to Substack for keeping Office Hours alive. Thank you to every single team member at Substack for all the hours you've been putting in to be with us, for patiently answering the same questions again and again (😅), for celebrating each milestone with us, no matter how large or small... and for guiding us as we navigate through and settle into this amazing platform that is Substack. I am so grateful to you all. Huge blessings and i look forward to more Office Hours in 2023.

May i also add Tonya Morton to the list?

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Just want to express my gratitude to the team. That I rarely attend Office Hours is a testament to how well (and intuitively) the product works. I would not be where I am as a writer without y'all. Many thanks and best wishes for the new year from Shangrilogs.

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Thanks for the shout out, that means a lot. I definitely got some interesting feedback about how to use some of the tools on Substack. I also had some great conversations generally on some issues.

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I really have to thank the Substack team and community here. I've enjoyed publishing on Substack so much, and I recommend it to all my friends. It's a powerful and expressive tool that has allowed me to actually build an audience and engage with real people who like what I write.

As a reader, I really, REALLY love so much of the content I have found here too. It has really opened my eyes to different perspectives, and, in my opinion, made me a better person.

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Office Hours has been fantastic! This is a community of kind folks who are eager to help - thank you to everyone! I think the biggest lesson is in the form of encouragement. Keep going! I'm grateful for all the reminders each week. It is hard to keep showing up when you're starting from scratch and your corner of the world is small but it's been exciting to see how it's possible to build authentic community in the process. So, I'm celebrating getting started (only launched this past fall) and embracing slow growth in a place that allows me a little more breathing room. A gentle and peaceful Christmas season to all and may 2023 be full of brighter days.

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Yes, it’s certainly not just a newsletter.

I’m gradually building my Substack into a reference resource for helping people with their lives.

Building slowing into something I’m really proud of.

https://neverstoplearning1.substack.com

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I think when I come on here you find people all pulling in the same direction and struggling with the same things.

So many questions have been answered over the last few months in this group.

I’ve started new conversations with people that have since carried on elsewhere and resulted in cross recommendations. Again, everyone wins from this.

Generally though, it’s about encouragement to keep going, keep learning and exploring what our readers enjoy.

Looking forward to more next year!

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Love the galleries! It's a great tool to help me transition away from Instagram. Happy holidays, everyone!

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I’m celebrating the easing out of my long professional career in health care to spending more time writing. This week, I enjoyed the Substacks of Jane Rosenzweig’s Writing Hacks, Paul Macko’s Deplatformable Newsletter, and Tobias’s Self-Mastery Sunday, which helped with my curiosity about Ai and what it means to be a true and authentic writer. I have found Substack an excellent vehicle for my writing and self-expression, and seeing great support from Substack staff and other writers on the platform. Thanks to all, and have a happy holiday.

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So many good things have come from going all in on my Substack. I can’t thank your team enough. You’re so responsive and supportive. I am so happy I made my home here. Thank you!

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I'm still a newbie ... started my column Casey's Catch 2 months ago. I'm at 160 subscribers and I really appreciate the suggestions regarding how to increase subscriptions. It's been very gratifying so far! Thanks for everyone's help!

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This year has been a wonderful experience! I blogged for years and here I am writing similar content (only much better I think) covering my passion which are non-fiction books. My subscriber base keeps growing and the community is awesome!

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I’m on the road today but I wanted to share that I’m grateful for discovering Substack and the community of writers here at office hours. Holly Rabalais was my first subscriber from these chats, and I’ve met so many other kindred spirits. Have a great end to your 2022 everyone!

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Arrive to Office Hours earlier! 😆

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I moved to Substack in the middle of this year and Office Hours taught me how supportive this community is. I got the courage to go paid and to try out new things in my newsletter. Just reading comments helped me discover more substacks to subscribe to. I’ve lurked a lot here but now I’m feeling more comfortable participating. So thank you to all who contribute here and to the Substack staff for hosting this space!

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I just published my last full issue before I break for the holidays. When I resume posting, it will have been one full year since I launched Game & Word! It’s been such an incredible journey, and the help, advice, and moral support I found (from Substack staff and my fellow writers alike) have been critical to my success.

Before I launched, I posted about how grateful that Substack exists and is providing a viable way to earn a living through my passion and skill in writing. I still feel that way, a full year later. Again, THANK YOU, Substack, for everything you’ve done for me.

Hopes for next year: my list has grown at a great pace (recently passed 800 subs!), but my conversion rate to paid subs is... well, not sustainable 😬 I’d love to see some features that helped nudge more folks to pay—either that, or maybe position Substack more as a place for “premium” quality content (which it is) instead of the free aspect (the embedded expectations of audiences of getting content for free is what for us into this mess to begin with, and the less we can feed that and the more we can shift it, the better)?

Also, I’d love to see a dedicated Gaming category 😇

Regardless, you guys are amazing, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday and all the best for 2023!

Cheers,

Jay

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